Du Paquier Porcelain Manufactory

Datesactive 1719 - 1744

When the Dutchman Claude Innocentius du Paquier opened his manufactory in Vienna in 1719, it was only the second hard-paste porcelain factory in Europe. For nearly twenty-five years, Du Paquier was the only rival of Meissen, the first European porcelain manufactory to discover the recipe of Chinese porcelain.

Impressed at the success of Meissen, the entrepreneurial Du Paquier, a minor court official in Vienna, decided to capitalize on its financial success. After experimenting on his own, he brought Christoph Hunger, an enamel decorator, to Vienna for assistance. In 1718 Emperor Charles VI rewarded Du Paquier by giving him an exclusive patent to manufacture "All sorts of fine porcelain...such as are made in East India and other foreign countries, with far more beautiful colors, decoration, and forms with the help of local workmen and materials."

In need of more help, Du Paquier lured two more important employees from his rival Meissen, including a kilnmaster who knew the exact combination of ingredients needed to make porcelain. The factory's wares soon achieved fame for their rich decoration, which included European landscapes, hunting scenes, classical mythology, and naturalistic flowers. The entire enterprise was never financially secure. Threat of imminent bankruptcy finally forced Du Paquier to sell the factory to the state in 1744, when his imperial privilege expired. While state-controlled, the factory continued to make porcelain under a succession of directors.